Sun 22nd October 2006
Archive Records have continued to put out consistently high quality releases since their inception and 'Grandeur of Hair' by The Goslings is no exception. It's yet another fine addition to Scott Slimm's series of limited run, one off recordings and, as per usual, it comes housed in a lovely card slipcase with striking art by Alan Sherry.
On 'Grandeur of Hair' The Goslings manage to deliver something I haven't heard in quite some time. Originality. A quality I've found painfully lacking in the doom scene of late. Between bands endlessly recycling old Sabbath riffs, or doing their best to sound like Neurosis, it's an absolutely joy to hear something with some real character of its own.
The Goslings have taken the slow lumbering guitar dirge of doom metal, turned it up to 11 and ripped it free of its stylistic shackles. What results is a twisted, convulsing mass of overamped guitar abuse, so dense and overdriven it sounds like it's liable to collapse under its own weight at every turn.
Individual notes ring out, resonate, then collapse due to an ungodly lack of string tension, whilst amps struggle to produce frequencies they were never meant to endure. Buried under this blanket of sonic overkill, their drummer hammers out simple yet powerful beats, providing a strong and visceral rhythmic backbone to the whole. Wispy, almost willfully wavering, female vocals sit atop the whole. Vocals quite unlike anything I'd have ever expected to hear coupled with music of this style. There's a left field Indie vibe to the vocals that really sets the band apart.
'Grandeur of Hair' really caught me off guard, made me sit up and pay attention because it completely thwarted my expectations. I've always found that the best bands are the ones that still have the ability to take you by surprise. In that respect, the Goslings have more than succeeded. This is easily one of the most striking releases I've heard all year and if you're after something a little different, yet still cripplingly heavy, I suggest you give this a look.